How Skin Stressed Are You?


Ever wondered why your skin looks so great when you get back from a relaxing holiday and then just gives up on you when you get back into the rigmarole of daily life? Life today has become a constant battle with us juggling gazillion things all of which needed to be done as of yesterday. Stress is a word that has managed to find its way in our everyday vocabulary! But did you know that stress not only affects you psychologically but also wrecks havoc on your skin.

The external effects of stress can be seen easily on your skin, hair and nails. According to the American Association of Dermatology skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema get aggravated when you are stressed. The worst part is that when these flare ups happen, you feel more stressed.

How does stress affect your skin?

Stress leads to the release of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, in the body’s blood stream. While normal levels of cortisol would help you with higher energy levels, increased immunity and lower your sensitivity to pain, prolonged levels of cortisol presence in your bloodstream leads to your bodily functions going a little haywire which includes affecting your metabolic rate and impacting your digestion process. Skin dryness and dullness can be looked at as minor stress responses. Here is how severely stress can impact your skin.

Stress and skin rashes

Recent studies reveal that stress causes the outer epidermal layer of the skin to break up causing the lipids present between the upper epidermal layers to evaporate. This makes the skin susceptible to bacterial infections, psoriasis and eczema. Cortisol, the stress hormone also tends to make you more susceptible to allergens which increase your susceptibility to skin irritation and problems.

Stress and acne

In a recent research conducted at Stanford University it was revealed that adult acne became fiercer when under stress. This study also revealed that relaxation exercises and therapies that helped control stress also helped in controlling these flare ups.

Stress, cold sores and frown lines

Before you look into the mirror and try to use the latest miracle cream to wipe your frown lines away think, “am I stressed?’ If you are under chronic stress then you will be frowning more. The math here is simple. The more stressed you are, the more you will frown and then worry some more about the furrows on your brow! Stress also impacts the immune system quite severely and can lead to cold sores, blisters and such other flare ups.

If you can’t fight something find a way of working around it. So if stress is beating you and your skin down look at relaxations techniques. Take a few minutes of ‘Me time’ in a day for some deep breathing…take a walk… smell some flowers…eat well, get adequate sleep and kick-off both stress and skin worries.

How does Stress impact your skin? Write in and let us know.

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